Any Question Answered (AQA) is a service whereby users text a question for a fee of about 2 pounds and receive the answer — no searching and no hassles.
AQA’s novel approach to mobile search got its start after founder and Chief Executive Officer Colly Myers was stumped by a friend who wanted to know, of all things, the word for a baby herring. When Myers wasn’t able the find the answer surfing the Web from his mobile phone, he sent a text message to a friend who looked it up online from a PC and texted back a reply.
High-end phones that support Web browsing indeed make it simple to browse Google or Yahoo and get a tab on the information that you are looking for. But AQA fills the niche for search-related queries via SMS.
Users text in a question to the service and researchers get to work trying to find the exact answer to send. Within 15 to 30 minutes, an answer is sent (most of the times).
The business model is pretty impressive. This is evident from the revenues posted by AQA for the past year ($5.7 million).
Also, it is interesting to note that the company fields many questions that range from the unanswerable (such as the winner of a football) to the philosophical (such as the meaning of life). But mostly it is more factual information, which is the reason why the business is profitable.